Lecture 8 - Flourishing and Detachment

author: Tamar Gendler, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Feb. 19, 2014,   recorded: February 2011,   views: 2008
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

Professor Gendler begins with a discussion of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, who argued that once we recognize that some things are up to us and other things are not up to us, we can see that happiness requires detaching ourselves from our desires and focusing instead on our attitudes and interpretations. Three pieces of advice from Epictetus about how to cultivate such detachment are provided, along with contemporary examples. A similar theme from Boethius is discussed, followed by a practical example of the benefits of detachment from Admiral James Stockdale’s experiences as a prisoner of war.

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